After much dilly-dallying, the time has finally arrived for the local body elections.The Panchayat Raj Institutions in Andhra Pradesh will soon go for elections as the High Court has paved the way today, asking the state government to fix 50 per cent reservations for various sections and submit a report to the State Election Commission in this connection.
The SEC will have to complete the election process within three months after receiving the report from the government, officials said here. AP has a three-tier Panchayat Raj system with gram panchayats, mandal parishads and zilla parishads. The term of these PRIs ended in July or August 2011 but the state government shied away from conducting fresh polls due to political reasons.
The Centre stopped release of statutory grants to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore to these PRI's due to non-conduct of elections. A petition was filed in the High Court seeking conduct of elections to the PRIs but the government said it had to first finalise the reservations (for various sections) as per the 2011 census. With the HC verdict today, the state government will have to hasten the process and put elected bodies in place within three months.